Monday, July 22, 2013

Chinese and other music exotica

It's been a long while since China had been jamming the radio stations of others by using raucous traditional music, but thanks to certain shortwave listeners, they've posted selections to YouTube, like this one...

...and this fancifully introduced one...

UPDATE: has a good quality, full copy of the firedrake music from the satellite feed HERE

In my post immediately previous, I  mentioned "sea wind", aka sea breeze, which has a particular meaning in Asia and which also happens to be the name of a radio station originating in Japan but aimed toward North Korea.  Nice clear (ish) signal obtained by someone in Romania:

China has been attempting to dominate the shortwave radio bands for quite some time now, but it's also the radio band where one can find clandestine activity, such as the American military-sponsored Radio Solh (transmitter suspected to be in Britain, aimed at Afghanistan), which went off the air years ago, but whose music I still seek.  The only song on their playlist that I was able to find on YouTube was Temptation, by Arash.

...and I found it only because of the parts that were in English.  I tried looking for anyone's video log of the shortwave Radio Sohl to no avail, so I rummaged around my own archives and found an audio clip, starting from ID and playing through to its unceremonious abrupt cut-off (almost but not quite 15 minutes).

I turned it into a .WMV video using a pic of the infamous antenna of linguist Richard E. Wood, when he lived in Cape Girardeau MO and working for SEMO U.  A bunch of us radio folk went to his house when he first moved in and held an antenna raising party. The antenna didn't get raised that day--just the base was installed--as it began to rain and kept raining.  We went back to IL with a trunkload of bootlegged Coors (yeah--it was illegal to commercially take it anywhere on the east side of the Mississippi back then.  Good times)...


I made a point of recording the second song on that track because I discovered that every time I played that at breakfast, I could dispense with drinking coffee altogether.  I'm on the verge of offering a bounty for a good quality clean copy of that piece; it really gets my boogie up. AUGUST UPDATE: I have located a lengthier tape of Radio Sohl, recorded in 2008 with a different playlist.  Will process that and add that here. UPDATE 2: tape machine busted a belt, got a replacement and found that it caused a lot of distortion. I also found own archives of firedrake and other Sohl audio logs. Trying to process those at this time.

I wish I could find all the other songs I heard on Radio Sohl on YouTube--oh well--but in the process of finding the version of Temptation that I heard, I managed to find an older version of that where there was more English spoken, and I consider that one to be a gem as well...

Now if I could only find some Radio Tahiti on YouTube.  They've been off the air for decades and there was no better place to find the best music on shortwave, although, truth be told, Indonesia ran a close second.  I tried to find something from Radio Euzkadi (Basque separatists) via shortwave, but came up only with FM logs. I guess I'll just have to be happy with this collection of "glory days" interval signals (Radio Tahiti's IS is about 13 minutes in)...

I find it remarkable just how much TRT's IS has changed (Voice of Turkey), from what's on this video (toward the end, about 34 minutes in), then to a number of piano variations on one theme, and now, just one piano riff, same theme.  Not on this video: BBC's Oranges and Lemons; Radio RSA's bokmakierie IS.

AUGUST EDIT--Found some more Radio Sohl, and so I'll be appending those here, one at a time. The track immediately below has a rather lengthy anti-Taliban message after the first two tunes, but music resumes afterward.  People in the DXLD Yahoo Group have said these announcements, where they occur, are in both Dari and Urdu.


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